The Russian Embassy in Skopje Responded to the Minister of Defense Slavjanka Petrovska via Facebook
The Russian Embassy in Skopje yesterday issued its own comment on the statements of the Minister of Defense Slavjanka Petrovska. The embassy opposes the positions that North Macedonia is taking towards the developments in and around Ukraine.
They react after the minister’s interviews with “Telma” and “TV 24”, in which she noted that the country fully supports the efforts being made within the NATO Alliance and the OSCE to overcome the developments with Ukraine. Minister Petrovska said that the deployment of the armed forces on the borders of Russia is a provocative and destabilizing action that actually reduces the security of the European continent.
The current estimates are that Russia has brought about 100,000 troops to the border with Ukraine, while in February the Russian military in Belarus will conduct joint military exercises with Belarusian forces near the Ukrainian border. At the same time, Russia occupied the Crimean peninsula in 2014, thus violating the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.
We underline the absolutely clear statements of the Russian leadership – Russia has never threatened the Ukrainian people anywhere and does not intend to take any aggressive action. In other words, we will not attack, invade or hit Ukraine. As for the Russian troops – they move through their own territory and have every right to do so, the Embassy of the Russian Federation claimed in a Facebook post yesterday.
Russia’s position expressed through the embassy in the country is that Ukraine is the one that continues to stubbornly evade its obligations under the Minsk Agreements, which include, in particular, establishing a direct dialogue with Donetsk and Luhansk and enshrining in the Constitution a special status of Donbass.
Consistent and full implementation of the “Minsk Package” from 2015 as an alternative solution is a necessary condition for resolving the intra-Ukrainian crisis, the Russian Embassy in Skopje said in a statement.
They added that they see a risk if Ukraine becomes more integrated into NATO, even without gaining formal membership status. They add that this is what directly affects Russia’s security interests.
At the same time, the Russian Embassy sent a message via Facebook to the Minister of Defense, Slavjanka Petrovska, that she should take into account “the real situation when setting priorities for the work of the ministry headed by her.”
Moreover, the official reaction of the Russian Embassy is only the last of a series of events that have occurred in recent days in the country in connection with the events in Ukraine. On January 20, a dozen people organized a protest in front of the Ukrainian Embassy in Skopje under the motto “Against the glorification of Nazism in Ukraine.” On that occasion, the Ukrainian Ambassador to the country Natalia Zadorozhnyuk reacted, emphasizing that Russia is currently waging war against Ukraine on all fronts, including the information front.
The pro-Russian party “United Macedonia” also reacted to the events in Ukraine, supporting the VMRO-DPMNE-led opposition bloc in the last local elections, calling the statements of Minister Slavjanka Petrovska puppetry.